NLP: Are your strategies working?
Do you ever find yourself doing something in a way that frustrates or irritates you, over and over again?
Chances are that any repetitive behaviour in the way that you run your business, or your life, is just one of many ‘strategies’ you employ.
In neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) terms, strategies are mind-body connections to behaviour. The official definition is ‘a specific syntax of internal and external experiences that produce consistent and specific behavioural outcomes.’ That’s a complicated way of saying that ‘strategies’ are the processes we follow during our daily activities.
We all have strategies we employ. The basic routine you follow when you wake up and start your day is a strategy. If you think about how you get from your bed to your desk each morning, you’ll notice that a very similar, if not identical, pattern emerges. The same applies to how you approach eating, drinking, communicating, learning, working and so on.
Strategies first develop when we’re young. We work out what’s effective for us and generalise the process we used, after which we confirm with ourselves, either consciously or unconsciously, that that’s a good way to perform that particular activity.
"Have you ever employed that classic old strategy of leaving everything to the night before a big deadline, resulting in one of those farcical last minute panics?"
Some of our strategies become very effective and successful for us. Tennis star Rafael Nadal is renowned for meticulously and precisely placing his water bottles in a particular position courtside before starting a game. Even though it may seem incomprehensible to some viewers, this is a great example of a strategy which works for him.
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However, other strategies may hold us back or prevent us from doing things in a better way. And because many of them are created unconsciously, we tend to be unaware of how much our unhelpful strategies are costing us.
Once we become aware of our strategies, it’s common to realise that not all of them are beneficial, and some of them are downright unproductive.
For example, have you ever employed that classic old strategy of leaving everything to the night before a big deadline, resulting in one of those farcical last minute panics?
The good news is that with NLP you can change a strategy to make it work better for you. Here’s how to get started:
- Spend some time considering your strategies and identify one that’s more of a hindrance than a help.
- Once it’s in your consciousness, ask yourself “How do I do that strategy?” (Note that you’re thinking about the mechanics of the process, rather than the underlying motivation or the history of how you ended up developing the strategy)
- Now that the strategy is clear in your mind, you’ll be in a good place to consciously choose a more effective approach going forward.
Have fun thinking about and identifying your strategies, and shaking them up a bit by doing things differently. You can perform the simple process above yourself, but bear in mind that to change a strategy on a more permanent basis, you’ll probably get more effective results by working with an NLP practitioner.
As the old adage goes, ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’
What strategies are you using in your business? Could any of them do with a revamp?